Developing Characters in a Dark Fantasy Romance Setting

Digging deep into a character has been something of a magical process for me and I'm always trying to find new ways to bring a character to life. It's fun, it's inspiring, and gives me a chance to develop connections in the worlds that swim around inside my head. However, one of my biggest pitfalls has always been trying to give characters a real sense of connection to one another and the environment within a specific genre.

Last week I worked a lot on developing characters for a dark fantasy romance story that I've been poking around at for quite some time. One of the problems I've had is trying to figure out how to bring the world to life around the characters that have romance as a main focus. I've never really written serious romance before and I tend to gravitate more towards the erotica genre. A hurdle I've been trying to get over is combining a good sense of romance and erotica without deterring to much away from the deep pasts I've written for these two main characters.

It's a whole new ball game for me but I'm learning that with dark fantasy I can explore tragedy and seedier parts of the world in a way that gravitates around the characters.(That's something I've always liked). I also enjoy a fair share of fighting and action scenes, so it's been interesting to try and combine these moments into a romance story without turning it into a flat out fantasy action story. Trying to keep it dark also provides an interesting challenge since love might even be a scarce commodity in a world asunder.

Pacing the characters along with the story has also been a bit of a challenge. I'm never too sure on how slow or how fast I should toss them into a plight together or if keeping them apart longer is a good choice. Is there such a thing as visceral romance? If there is, I'd love to read something like that.

What about other fellow writers? How do you usually pace your romance? Do you like to throw the potential candidates together instantly or give a bit more mystery to how they meet? Any suggestions for great dark fantasy romance/erotica is greatly welcomed!


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